In the Foreign Service generalist orientation, it only takes about four weeks for these bonds to form. Between the long days of class, the formal and informal social events, and a high percentage of the class living in one of the three Oakwood housing complexes, most FS officers and their families feel quite comfortable with each other by the time Flag Day rolls around. Thus, it can be startling to realize that the people who have shared this experience with you will soon be scattered around the world.
Although it may seem odd that some of us are leaving in April while others are here until February of next year, the friendships formed in A-100--and at our future two or three year posts--will endure beyond the boundaries of fourteen hour flights. And we have friends to visit in every part of the world. We have already invited ourselves to Mexico, Africa, China, and a few more.
Today we go to the swearing in ceremony at main State--"graduation" from A-100--and next week the newly appointed FSOs and some of their family members will start language and/or job specific training. For some, this may be the point at which the journey begins to feel real. For others, it's just another chapter. I'm just hoping that everyone has a guest room.
The 151st A-100 plans its leave time